Senate Budget Priorities Harness California’s Wealth to Bolster Families, Businesses, and Invest in Major Issues – EastCountyToday

SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senate Budget & Fiscal Committee Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) announced Thursday the second phase of the Senate’s “Putting Wealth to Work” budget proposal, which would continue to prioritize a more equitable economy to benefit struggling and middle class families and build  historic levels of reserves.

California’s economy is going strong, and thanks to more than a decade of responsible budgeting  and the voter-approved revenue system that requires the wealthy to pay their fair share, the state has an unprecedented $68 billion in available General Fund resources. The Senate’s budget priorities include the Better for Families Rebate Plan – which would provide $8 billion to help taxpayers shoulder the cost of rising energy and consumer goods – along with rebates for small businesses and nonprofits that had to repay federal unemployment debt and grants to offset the cost incurred by the recently-enacted Paid Sick Leave program. It also includes billions in funding for core services and programs that support Californians.

“With the new revenue available for this year’s state budget, the Senate is doubling down on our priorities— relief of $8 billion for Californians facing higher consumer costs, reserves of $43.1 billion to help maintain California’s ongoing financial stability, and reinvesting California’s wealth in those who need it most, especially struggling families and small businesses,” Pro Tem Atkins said. “With this budget, the Legislature and the Governor will be taking the same responsible and effective path we’ve been on for over a decade now. Only this year, we’re able to help even more people, bolster their ability to achieve their dreams, and ensure there will be both resources and a more equitable system in place now, and for future generations of Californians.”

The Putting Wealth to Work approach would add $65 billion in combined current year and budget year revenues to the Governor’s forecast. It also would continue the Legislature’s responsible budgeting approach, allocating one-time revenues for one-time purposes, and $43.1 billion in reserves.

“Our state Senate ‘Putting Wealth to Work’ budget plan directs California’s strong revenues to achieve a more equitable economy and ensure that middle-class and struggling families are not left behind,” Sen. Skinner said. “It builds on the record funding increases we achieved last year to expand childcare, fund our schools and colleges, and make health care more affordable. I am especially proud of the big investments our plan proposes to make, once again, on housing affordability and services to address homelessness, top priorities for Californians across the state.”

Highlights of the Putting Wealth to Work Plan include major investments in education, climate adaptation and resiliency, healthcare, housing, mental health, homelessness, public safety, workforce, …….